‘The Bachelorette’: Home is where I want to be

The Bachelorette
July 2, 2012

Hello everyone, from 35,000 feet above … somewhere (Mexico? Sure. Let’s say “Mexico.”). Your trusty blogger needs a little time off too, you know, and thus, this entry is somewhat late, being written hastily and rather sloppily before my laptop battery dies (since the stewardess refuses to see if she can do anything about the non-functioning power outlet at my seat) and so it won’t be as long — or as funny, I’m sure. Terribly sorry! Tut tut! All that.

St. Emily is busy traveling, too. First she briefly returns home to Charlotte to pat Little Ricky Bobby Jr. on the head and tuck her into her bed before slipping off in the middle of the night to begin the hometown visits. Bye Little Ricky Bobby, Jr! Hope that you do well in school so that you can get a decent job so that you can pay for all the therapy you’ll be going to so as to work out your abandonment issues!

Before we can go to the hometown visits, we have to montage. Remember that time St. Emily and Smug (Psycho) Chris danced awkwardly in the street? Remember that time that Smug (Very Psycho) Chris cried and begged to not be sent home after acting like a petulant and possibly crazy brat? Remember that time St. Emily and Justin Wannabieber went to that one place to be yelled at by that lady about finger sandwiches? Remember that time when Cal Naughton Jr. lied to St. Emily about dating one of the producers and somehow convinced St. Emily that she owed him an apology? Remember that time when Dallas Sean screamed at Speaker’s Corner about how his parents have been married a long time? Good times! So glad we spent all that time reliving them! What a great way for me to have spent 20 minutes of my life!

And, as always, let me give my traditional disclaimer about the hometown visits: I HATE THE HOMETOWN VISITS. Aside from the manherd and St. Emily herself, none of these people deserve this. None of them signed up to be on a dippy reality dating series. None of them asked to be mocked in the public sphere. Little Kensington and her brother Smith, they don’t deserve to be ridiculed. AND THAT MAKES MY JOB THAT MUCH HARDER. All the punches: they must be pulled! It is so hard! It is TOO HARD.

With that said, first stop: Chicago. Smug Chris has brought The Crazy down several notches after having been given a rose last week, which is good because he had really amped up The Crazy. He meets St. Emily at that watertower thingy in the middle of downtown (FORGIVE. I AM ON A PLANE WITH NO WIKIPEDIA. But listen, if they aren’t going to tell us what it is on the show, why should I bother to care? I’ve been there before, I’ve seen it, it’s that water tower thing. You know the one.) and then takes her for a beer at some Polish joint so as to warn her that his family is Very Polish. They are in fact the Polishest Poles who have ever Poled. Smug Chris would also like to apologize for acting like a crazy person, again, because Boy Howdy! was he crazy. And with that, they are off to meet his Polish family.

The Smugs seem like a lovely family: two sisters and his friendly and charming parents. At some point, Mr. Smug (who, it should be noted is the opposite of smug, and truly seems like a lovely man) takes St. Emily aside for a little chat and explains that he doesn’t want to see his son’s heart get broken. St. Emily, in turn, wonders if Smug Chris is really ready to be someone’s father, since he has given her absolutely no indication that he is interested in the least. Mr. Smug says some vague things about committment and responsibility and the importance of loving one another and they both walk away from the conversation seemingly pleased.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Smug encourages her son to go in there and kick some ass if he really cares about St. Emily because she apparently is under the misconception that this is some sort of sporting event.

St. Emily then faces Rene, one of Smug Chris’s sisters, who is none too impressed with St. Emily and essentially demands that she just go ahead and dump her brother already, because come on. We all know where this is headed.

Smug Chris and his father speak privately, where Mr. Smug tells his son that St. Emily told him she was falling in love with Smug Chris. This never happened. I’m going to chalk it up to language misunderstandings and not just Mr. Smug setting his son up for tremendous disappointment, for laffs.

And then a bunch of Poles show up on the back porch with an oompa band and everyone does the chicken dance the end.

Next stop: Utah. The Wannabieber family apparently own a few hundred acre ranch up in the middle of nowhere, a fact that Justin Wannabieber failed to mention to St. Emily. So having believed she was dating a skinny jeans/hoodie-wearing hipster she is not a little surprised to discover she will be spending the day dune buggying, shooting clay pigeons and being grilled by his 18 skeptical siblings, but no parents because they didn’t want to be on this God-forsaken travesty and who can blame them? if one of my sons was a contestant on The Bachelorette and announced he was showing up with a full camera crew, my husband and I would also suddenly discover we had Very Important Things to do in another state across the country, too. are in South Carolina doing “charity.”

So much skeptical! Skeptical Steve Wannabieber takes St. Emily aside to grill her on her “principles” and “goals” and “foundations” and basically accuse her of being a harlot for having been unsuccessfully engaged to Wombat. To her credit, St. Emily doesn’t bark at him, “BACK OFF, JACK. QUIT BEING SO JUDGEY, GAH,” which I totally would have done, so. Instead, she makes some polite noises about knowing that love takes work and not backing out when things get tough and blah blah fundamentals blah.

The Wannabieber sisters and sisters-in-law are slightly more gentle with St. Emily, and ask her if she’s willing to uproot Ricky Bobby Jr. and move her across the country. (Good question, akshully!) Sure! says St. Emily, because what else is she going to say there. In turn, St. Emily asks them if they think Justin Wannabieber is ready to get married and be a dad and settle down. There is a long uncomfortable silence before one of them makes some mealy noises about how he would be for the right girl. One of the sisters just flat-out asks St. Emily if she’s falling in love with Justin Wannabieber, and St. Emily is like, uh, sure? I mean, maybe? And then some blond child arrives and climbs in St. Emily’s lap, thankfully killing the tension.

Justin Wannabieber speaks with Skeptical Steve who is skeptical. Skeptical Steve didn’t think Justin Wannabieber wanted to get married. Skeptical Steve didn’t think Justin Wannabieber wanted to be a dad. Skeptical Steve didn’t think Justin Wannabieber wanted to be a grown up. BUT I DO! Justin Wannabieber screams, before running away in tears and slamming a door somewhere.

Finally, Justin Wannabieber and St. Emily retreat to a rock somewhere to eat some cheese and look at the subdivision down below. Justin Wannabieber reads to St. Emily a letter he composed on the way back from Europe about how he thinks she’s super awesome and how wants to teach Ricky Bobby, Jr. some sports or something. Good letter!

Scottsdale, Arizona is our next stop, and St. Emily is dumped at a racetrack to admiringly watch Cal Naughton, Jr. do a few laps in his Indy car. FACT: NASCAR and Indy racing are two different things! Eventually, she gets out of her fancy clothes and puts on some sort of puffy suit and Cal Naughton, Jr. drives her around the track a few times and we are supposed to remember that she once had a baby with a race car driver but he died but not in a race car accident so this isn’t sad. Whatever.

Later, they sit by a pond and Cal Naughton, Jr. announces that his parents are very “European.” Neither St. Emily nor I know what that is supposed to mean: do they not bathe very often? do they like stinky cheese? do they think Jerry Lewis is waaaay funnier than he actually is? This requires more information, please. Cal Naughton, Jr. explains that his father, he is very funny and charming! But his mother … HERE DRINK THIS WINE. DRINK ALL OF THE WINE. St. Emily and I try to not become alarmed. (And are more than happy to have an excuse to drink all of the wine — don’t have to tell us twice.)

They arrive at the family homestead, and St. Emily meets Cal Naughton, Sr., Mrs. Naughton, the Naughton Twins and Sister Naughton. FACTS ABOUT THE NAUGHTONS: They are Dutch; Cal Naughton, Sr. is also an Indy race driver; he won the Indy a couple of times in the 90s. (I would confirm this, BUT I HAVE NO WIKIPEDIA.) The Naughton Twins gawk at St. Emily and announce that they love her accent, while Mrs. Naughton and Sister Naughton glower at her. Funtimes! Mrs. Naughton warms up when she learns that St. Emily lives in Charlotte, and explains that it was the first place she ever saw in the United States, that the Naughtons, in fact, spent their honeymoon there. Which, super! Common ground! But then Mrs. Naughton busts out the Dutch to Cal Naughton, Jr., and St. Emily can’t understand what is being said and it is very rude and uncomfortable and Cal Naughton, Sr. smirks at St. Emily that they are talking about her. Thanks for the heads up! Very helpful!

St. Emily and Mrs. Naughton retreat to a bedroom where Mrs. Naughton explains that she watched the Wombat season. She saw St. Emily get engaged. So what is the deal? St. Emily explains that Wombat is just terrific, she just didn’t ask the right questions; which is a nice diversion, St. Emily, but not much of an answer. Still, it’s enough for Mrs. Naughton who seems to approve. In her icy, European kind of way. St. Emily asks about living the race car lifestyle, and Mrs. Naughton shrugs. It is hard. What do you expect.

Meanwhile, the Cal Naughtons speak, but Senior is very upfront about this being Junior’s life. You like her? Super. Good for you.

FINALLY, Dallas. And because we’re in Texas, roll the Obligatory Texas B Roll: Texas flags and herds of mancattle. Dallas Sean meets St. Emily at a lake somewhere, releasing his giant dogs upon her as soon as she gets out of her ride. Which, wow, thanks? The two talk about how wonderful his family is, again, and Dallas Sean explains that he hasn’t introduced a girl to them since his last serious relationship. They were together for 3 years, but he dumped her because he just wasn’t that into her. Which he tries to make sound like this means he is a really stand-up guy instead of someone who strung someone along for 3 years. Dallas Sean then essentially tells St. Emily that he will not sleep with her unless he really loves her and wants to spend eternity with her. Thanks for the heads up!

Dallas Sean brings her to his family’s home where they are all waiting for her in the backyard: Mr. and Mrs. Dallas, Sister Dallas and her husband and kids. St. Emily keeps exclaiming over how “perfect” the home and family is, and that’s when Dallas Sean drops the bomb: He lives here with his parents. St. Emily manages to play it cool even as he takes her upstairs to see his filthy room and introduce her to his stuffed animal collection. BUT HA HA, it’s all a joke, come on, who did you think Dallas Sean was?

Full disclosure: I totally bought it. I am a gullible dummy, true, but I also think it’s maybe because I don’t like Dallas Sean, and I really, really, really wanted him to be someone who gives names to each in his stuffed animals and who would gripe that his mom didn’t clean up his room. So disappointed this was all a joke. SO DISAPPOINTED.

(Also, we might have had a better idea this whole things was a joke if they had also not saved until the credits Mr. Dallas’ own little prank on St. Emily, wherein he pretended to be serving a taxidermied armadillo for dinner. PRANKSTERS! SUCH PRANKING PRANKSTERS! [What a nightmare, get out now, St. Emily, seriously.])

Mr. Dallas takes Dallas Sean aside to chat, and Dallas Sean explains that he’s been changed by this whole experience. Huh! says Mr. Dallas. Mr. Dallas then visits with St. Emily, and tells her that he’s never seen his son like this before. Huh! says St. Emily.

Mrs. Dallas warns her son that St. Emily means serious business, serious father and husband business, and that he can’t be fooling around. And then everyone talks about how perfect everyone else is, the end.

Well, not entirely the end. As St. Emily is driving away, Dallas Sean goes chasing after her SUV like a golden lab, and demands one more kiss from her, bleah, go clean up your room, guy.

St. Emily meets Chris Harrison at some hotel in Los Angeles for the rose ceremony, why? Don’t they have a whole mansion just for this sort of thing? Or was it being deloused and bleached down in anticipation of Bachelor Pad? ANYWAY. St. Emily makes some noises about how this is Very Important, and how she doesn’t want to insult anyone’s family and there is a montage BUT OH NO MY BATTERY IS DYING SO WE HAVE TO BE QUICK.

Rose #1: Cal Naughton, Jr.
Rose #2: Justin Wannabieber
Rose #3: Dallas Sean

And we all saw that coming, right? There was no chance Smug Chris was going any farther. In fact, he was lucky to get this far, especially after all his little snits last week. The only one who didn’t see this coming was Smug Chris himself, who storms outside and demands an explanation from St. Emily. But she just shrugs and apologizes instead of telling him that he and his bad attitude and his bright blue groomsman tie and handkerchief need get into the limo, already, and quit whining about how he is “ten times” the other guys who are still in it, because no one wants to hear it and we’ve all been kind of sick of him for a while now, goodbye and good riddance.


The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC, and requires copious amounts of red wine to get through.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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